Chag sameach! I hope everyone had a sweet first night of Pesach last night, and I’m looking forward to celebrating with many of you tonight at our second-night community seder.
Tonight we’ll begin the process of counting the Omer, the days between Pesach and Shavuot, between liberation and revelation. In an agricultural paradigm, this was the season of growing new grain to offer to God at the Temple on Shavuot, some seven weeks away. In today’s paradigm, we count the forty-nine days between one holiday and the next to keep ourselves mindful of the journey.
Freedom is tremendously important, but it isn’t enough. In order for our freedom to have meaning, we also need to enter into relationship with something greater than ourselves. On Shavuot, when we celebrate the revelation of Torah at Sinai, we’ll celebrate our entering into covenantal relationship with the Source of All. Between now and then, each day offers us a special opportunity for contemplating where we are on the journey and who we are (and hope we are) becoming.
Last year at this season I posted 49 teachings on the From the Rabbi blog, one for every day of the Omer. I’m not planning to do that again this year, but if you’re so inclined, you can go back to last year’s posts and re-read. (Here’s last year’s post for the First Day of the Omer.)
Here are four wonderful books for counting the Omer — they offer teachings, poems, meditations, and inspiration for each of the 49 days of this journey. Please consider picking one up and using it to enliven this special time of year!
And if you’d like to receive daily emails, Facebook messages, and/or twitter reminders to Count the Omer (with beautiful meditations and teachings contained therein), you can sign up for a daily notification from Mishkan Shalom — I’ve been receiving their daily Omer emails for a few years, and they are wonderful.
I wish all of y’all a sweet and meaningful Pesach, and a joyous and mindful journey through these seven weeks and into Shavuot.